Thursday, August 29, 2013

We Made History

This evening the Freemasons of Ohio made some history.  Not the Mainstream Freemasons or the Prince Hall Masons.  Not the "white Masons" or the "Black Masons", but the Freemasons of Ohio.  

What started as an opportunity for two of the smallest lodges in Central Ohio to perform joint ritual work on a Thursday evening in late August, turned into a number of firsts.  I'm glad I was there.

Samaritan Lodge No. 117, and Arts & Sciences Lodge No. 792 performed joint ritual work for a new Master Mason.  Arts & Sciences is of the Grand Lodge of Ohio.  Samaritan is of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio.  Our jurisdictions have had visitation together.  we have sat in lodge together.  We have observed each other performing the Master Mason Degree work.  Years ago, when the two Jurisdictions first entered into co-recognition, we performed the ritual together, but never before for an actual candidate.  

This evening a team from both Grand Lodges performed together in the Raising of a new Master Mason.  We shared responsibility.  This was the first time in the history of Regular Freemasonry in the State of Ohio, that a lodge of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, and and a lodge of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio, performed joint ritual work.  This could not have been possible without the leadership and vision of both Grand Lodges.

It gets more interesting.  The Candidate is a member of Arts and Sciences Lodge, but his father is a member of a Prince Hall Affiliated Lodge ("Rising Sun" in Youngstown, Ohio).  His father was present to perform some of the most important parts of the ceremony.  I have to say, it was an amazing thing to see a father from one Grand Lodge, perform ceremonies on behalf of a son in another jurisdiction. He presented him with a ring, and they embraced as father and son, and as brothers.  Our two jurisdictions were literally connected with a yet stronger cord this evening. As two families are connected when a child from each gets married and produces a child, we now have a relationship which is stronger than our petty differences.

But Arts & Sciences and Samaritan were not alone in this history.  I counted at least five lodges representing the Grand Lodge of Ohio, including York, Arts & Sciences, University, Reynoldsburg, and another I can't recall the name of.  At least 5 lodges and two districts were represented from the MWPHGLO, including Samaritan, King David, Gloria, Rising Sun, and St. Mark's.  Three of the Brothers had only been raised a few weeks ago, and this was their first meeting as Master Masons themselves.  What a great first meeting to have.

With this act, Freemasonry in Ohio has taken another upright regular step toward its own ideals and aspirations.


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